Despite the roll out of the Coronavirus Vaccine, many companies and small businesses are still struggling to stay afloat as they recover from the immense loss of business throughout the pandemic.
For the hair care industry, there has been a shortage of hair and, with the supply chain disruption worldwide, many hair replacement salons have been either forced out of business, made the difficult decision to retire early, or even be acquired by larger companies like Hair Club.
Back in March of 2020, China (a major manufacturer of hair and hair related products) increased its restrictions on imports making it an extremely difficult process for vendors and consumers alike to recieve hair extensions and other necessary hair products. At the time, the Pandemic had essentially halted all production and the hair industry has been playing catch up ever since.
When China initially shut down, people were prohibited from leaving their homes to go to work. This was done in effort to maintain control of the number of Covid-19 cases and reduce it from spreading. Although this action was quite beneficial in keeping people healthy and safe, it was not without consequence for many businesses including the hair industry.
Shipments of hair products were delayed, production had been halted completely and vendors were scrambling to find a solution to replenish their inventory. Because of this, a vicious cycle developed due to the shortage of production of hair products, met with a high demand for said products.
As a result of this shortage, many companies and resellers had no choice but to increase their prices. This was done in an effort to make up for the lost revenue from the shutdown. Many stylists felt they had no choice but to raise their prices double and even triple the price of what the original cost of wigs, hair pieces, and hair extensions were. This made potential clients second guess making their hair appointments at the higher costs, therefore leading to less business.
It has been extremely difficult to navigate through for the stylists and salon owners as well as the guests and patrons. Hair salons and businesses are doing their best to keep their doors open for business to provide excellent service and quality products to their guests in a way that is affordable to those who come through their doors. Unfortunately, the reality is that salons will have to charge more for services and products or close up shop due to a lack of revenue to pay the costs of running a business.
Nothing about this pandemic has been ideal or convenient for small businesses or consumers for that matter. There is an immense amount stress and frustration from all perspectives. The only way to thrive is by doing our best to support one another as the state of the world recovers from the major impact of the pandemic. Having patience, understanding and doing what we can to help our local salons and small businesses stay afloat is essential to keep our local salons open to provide the quality service that brought us there in the first place.
That being said, it is entirely possible and completely understandable that not every single small business will be able to make it through to the other side of this pandemic. Multiple small businesses have already had to permanently close their doors with no promise of a return. This is extremely unfortunate for those entrepreneurs who had their dreams taken from them due to something completely out of their control as well as for the patrons who will need to find a new salon for their future hair related services.
Acknowledging the sadness of this possibility is incredibly important as well as having empathy for those in that situation. It is paramount. However, there is an optimistic outlook on the present circumstances. For those salons who close up shop, there leaves a vacancy for new salon owners to set up shop. Change can be a scary and an uncomfortable thing, but since there are many people changing careers from the various effects of the pandemic, some may be parting ways with the hair industry while others may be making their grand entrance.
This past year of the pandemic has given us much time and perspective to re-evaluate what it is we are doing with our lives, what is important to us, and what we truly want out of life that gives us a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Although many people have been laid off and forced to find new work or switch careers, many people have actively made the decision to change careers and pursue their dreams and passions in many regards not limited to the hair industry.
There is no doubt that it is understandably difficult to find positives from the pandemic with it seemingly being so negative by nature. But if we can just allow ourselves to focus on the positives and see the growth and strength that has come from enduring a pandemic and making it through, we can see that there is so much to be proud of. Especially, for the new salons that are opened by aspiring entrepreneurs. This is something that can be very exciting not only for the industry but for all of our local communities as well.
Having a fresh perspective from the next generation of stylists and salon owners can provide wonderful insight on the craft. This helps to ensure the progress of launching off an already established quality of service and products. This is fantastic in the interest of the continual process of growth and development of finding more innovative ways to improve as a business and entrepreneur.
Although hair salons were not deemed an essential business compared to other services or businesses. There is no doubt at this point how essential it is for our self esteem and mental health. Having access to hair salons and quality hair services all contribute to ensuring that we like the way we look and that, if we like the way we look, we tend to feel much better and secure about our self image.
Taking care of ourselves is incredibly important. It is to no surprise that proper hair care contributes greatly to that. If a person is having a bad hair day, that can contribute greatly to how they feel about themselves and can play a big part in lowering their self esteem. We all, knowingly or unknowingly present an image to the rest of society, an outer reflection of who we truly are. How we present our outer appearance usually will mirror how we feel on the inside. This, in turn, affects how others perceive us and how we view ourselves.
Whether it’s curly, straight, short, long, shaving our head, using hair as a complete cover up, coloring our hair, having hair extensions, using hair restoration products, or getting a hair transplant, the way we style and wear our hair plays an integral part in the presentation of our ‘persona’. Our hair is a part of our identity in who we are.
Hair will almost always reflect your health, physical and mental. Dull, unkempt hair can be the result of anaemia or other medical conditions. Stress, panic and depression can sap your body of vital nutrients, resulting in unhealthy hair.
A visit to the hair salon can be a great morale boost too. If it can be an experience that is free of stress with a relaxed atmosphere, you can get more out of the hair appointment than just a new look.
So it’s not all about the final product of your hair appointment, but the therapeutic experience of actively treating yourself and allowing yourself to be taken care of by a professional at a hair salon.
Going to the hair salon is the ultimate reward for your hair and for yourself. Plus there are so many great products on the market that are healthy and ethical to use. A small amount of care will go a long way for your at home routine. Simply washing with gentle cleansers, massaging your scalp with a little pressure through your fingertips will give you a blood supply boost to your head and a soothing feeling for your mind.
All that said, keeping the hair service industry alive plays a big part in ensuring you have those outlets to treat yourself and look and feel your best. So whenever possible, please do your best to support your local salons. Ask the local stylists, owners, and hairdressers how they are doing if you have not already done so. Opening up a conversation to show that you care and have a genuine interest in helping keep their doors open is a great first step to keep the struggling hair salons going.
Whether we support existing businesses or new up and coming salons that rise from the ashes of the pandemic, it is a great reminder for us all to do what we can as individuals to help our local businesses and communities continue to thrive as we continue to navigate through these times.